Alright, so you couldn't say it's steaming ahead - but after three profit warnings in two years, it looks like Hornby is back on track. The company behind Airfix and Scalextric said sales increased by eight per cent to £24.2m in the six months to the end of September, ending a run of bad luck.
The group, which also manufactures Corgi die-cast models, said statutory losses had narrowed to £520,000, down from £1.09m during the same period last year. Group profit rose to £250,000, up from an £850,000 loss the year before.
It added that its most successful new launches include a "quickbuild" Scalextric Cops'n'Robbers set, an Airfix Hawker Typhoon and a Flying Scotsman train set.
Having been hit hard by the collapse of Modelzone in 2013, Hornby issued its third profit warning in two years in April, then posted a pre-tax loss of £4.6m for the full year in June. But there was a glimmer of hope: the company said it had renegotiated its debt, extending its repayment until the end of next year.
Chief executive Richard Ames said that while its full-year results will depend on the "success of the Christmas period", he was quietly confident.
We are encouraged with the advances that the group is making. During the first half of the year, the team has made material progress in organising the turnaround of the company. The move to the new warehouse facility has been completed smoothly, which gives us the foundations on which we have the room to grow.
Shares edged up 1.39 per cent to 73p in early trading.